World-renowned neurologist, neuroscientist, brain science popularizer, speaker and international bestselling author
Prof Dr Steven Laureys
Professor Dr Steven Laureys MD PhD FEAN is recognised worldwide for his expertise in consciousness and cognition. With his team, and within the EU funded Human Brain Project, he has been using imaging, wearables and other neuro-technologies to assess neurological recovery and neuroplasticity in both health and disease. In over 25 years of clinical experience, he has authored over 500 scientific articles and several bestselling popular books.
His wide interest in the workings of the human brain and mind range from traumatic brain injury, stroke, coma, locked-in syndrome, and “vegetative” states (he helped rename “unresponsive wakefulness”) to sleep and dreaming over near-death experiences, hypnosis and meditation to the study of cognitive flexibility and the power of the mind in astronauts and entrepreneurs.
Dr Laureys is Research Director at the National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS); founding director of the GIGA Consciousness Research Unit and of the Brain Centre at the University and University Hospital of Liège and Chief Neurologist at TRAINM Neurorehab Center in Antwerp, Belgium.
Since the beginning of his career, he has worked to reduce the distance between different research disciplines, university faculties, care centres and language-specific communities with a view to establishing fruitful cooperation initiatives at a national and international level. It was in this context that he established in 2006 the renowned international and transdisciplinary “Coma Science Group”, which nowadays has around thirty members and is co-directed by Prof. Olivia Gosseries and Prof. Aurore Thibaut. He also founded and co-directs the Hangzhou International Consciousness Institute in China.
Recently, Dr. Laureys and his collaborators have begun to evaluate novel strategies for the treatment of disorders of consciousness. A range of pharmacological and neuromodulation approaches are being tested to promote neuroplasticity and recovery after trauma, stroke, concussion, coma, epilepsy, memory problems, chronic pain, and headache.
Collectively, Dr. Laureys’ work has transformed our understanding of recovery after brain damage and disorders of consciousness, and substantially improved their diagnosis, management, and quality of life.
Doctor Steven Laureys is highly committed with his specialty, he not only dedicates his time to academic, medical, and political spheres regarding this matter, but also raises awareness for mental health and wellbeing among the wider public. In this context, he created the European Academy of Neurology’s scientific panel on coma and disorders of consciousness and recently co-founded Mind Care International Foundation, with support from the King Baudouin Foundation GENERET award and the European Biomedical Research Foundation (FERB Onlus). He is also widely appreciated as a didactic speaker and his services are regularly requested by European and international industrial partners and media.